After 21 years attending council meetings nine years of which he presided as mayor

After 21 years attending council meetings nine years of which he presided as mayor

Outgoing Mayor Flewwelling praises productive council

Mayor Morris Flewwelling presided over his final council meeting on Tuesday after spending 21 years in public office.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling presided over his final council meeting on Tuesday after spending 21 years in public office.

The agenda was light as the 2010-2013 council called it a term in less than two hours.

A new council will be elected on Oct. 21 and sworn in on Oct. 28.

Flewwelling applauded council’s record over the last three years.

He tipped his hat to a laundry list of projects, major plans like the strategic direction and the graffiti, dog and smoke-free bylaws.

He did not shy away from highlighting some of the more controversial issues including fluoride, snow and ice removal, the bike lane pilot, and the first proposed site for the Red Deer Native Friendship Centre housing project.

“You have been a very busy, productive and effective council,” Flewwelling, 72, told council.

“I am very proud of the record of council of 2010.”

Following the meeting, Flewwelling said there are always regrets when leaving anything.

He said if he did not have to fight through an election, he may have carried on for another couple of years.

“For the good of the community, I think after someone has been mayor for nine years it’s time to hand it over and let somebody else take some leadership for our community,” said Flewwelling.

Before he served as nine years as Red Deer’s mayor, Flewwelling served as a councillor for three consecutive terms and one term in the 1970s.

Two of his proudest moments over the years included mending and strengthening the relationship with the County of Red Deer and helping to lead the housing and homelessness initiative in Red Deer, which led the nation.

“We weren’t just doing, we were leading the nation,” said Flewwelling. “I will never forget the minister of housing came here and handed me the first cheque of the first grant from the federal government because we were the first community to apply for it successfully and get funding for federal housing money.”

Flewwelling was named one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People in 2013.

In other council news:

l One of the final orders of business for the 2010-2013 Red Deer city council was to fight for more control over power bills. After passing a bylaw amendment that will boost power bills on average by $5 to $6 across the city, council unanimously passed another motion to add Electric Utility Bylaw to its advocacy priority list.

The increase stems from the 35 per cent expected spike in the Alberta Electric System Operator transmission costs this month. Council re-iterated its frustrations over its lack of control over power bills in the province.

l The city will actively participate with the Red Deer Early Years Coalition to champion the first 2,000 days of a child’s life and assist with the recruitment of multi-sector partners. City council gave support to the coalition –– known as Child and Youth Friendly Red Deer, following a motion brought forward by Coun. Dianne Wyntjes. The motion was passed unanimously. This also sets the table for the pending social master plan.

l The City of Red Deer will take a stronger step forward in its fight against the province’s centralized approach to ambulance dispatch.

Coun. Tara Veer introduced a motion that calls on the province to reverse its decision and publicly states the city’s position that “its regional dispatch is essential to our ability to maintain an integrated ALS ambulance service and a responsive dispatch system.” The motion was read into council and will be discussed at the next council meeting on Nov. 4

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com